Recent Executive Moves in Banking & Financial Services – MENA

Contact RRA consultant | Kanu Rajguru

MAY 2022

  • AL MASRAF BANK announced the appointment of Graham FitzGerald as Chief Executive Officer. Graham, who was most recently the CEO for HSBC Philippines has held various roles in the HSBC Group including in Global Relationship Management, Lending and Transaction Management, Regional Operations and Corporate Banking. Graham has worked in New Zealand, UK,  Hong Kong, and the UAE where he was the Regional COO and then Regional Head of Corporate Banking for the Commercial Banking business across MENA.

  • APICORP has hired Khalid bin Ali Al-Ruwaigh as Chief Executive Officer, taking over from Dr. Ahmed Ali Attiga who led the organization over the past five years. He joins from Emirates NBD Capital KSA where he served as Chief Executive Officer since March 2019. He has held senior and executive roles including Chief Investment Officer at Naseel Holdings and several roles at Al Rajhi Capital and covered multi-asset classes such as Public & Private Equity, Real Estate and Fixed Income. Khalid holds a MBA from California State University, USA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems from King Saud University.

  • BANQUE SAUDI FRANSI has appointed Bader Hamad AlSalloom as the Acting Chief Executive Officer, effective from June 1, 2022.  The appointment followed the resignation of Rayan Mohammed Fayez from his position as the Managing Director and CEO of the bank. He will join in a new position at a semi-governmental body.  AlSalloom is currently the Head of Wholesale Banking at the bank.  Prior to joining Banque Saudi Fransi, he was the Deputy GM for Corporate Banking at The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB). Previously, AlSalloom also worked at Saudi British Bank (SABB) for more than 15 years, where he held the positions of Head of Treasury Sales and Deputy GM for Commercial Banking. 

  • BLACKROCK has appointed Suliman Algwaiz as Chairman of Saudi Arabia. Previously, Algwaiz was the Chairman at Mobily, Governor of the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) and Chairman of Banque Saudi Fransi. Prior to this, he held several management positions in the financial services industry, including Deputy CEO at Riyad Bank and Head of Public Sector Business at SAMBA. Additionally, BlackRock has appointed Mohammed Al Issa, the CFO of Assila Investments, as an Independent Non-Executive Board Member. Issa has served on the boards of Savola Group and Kinan Real Estate Company, with previous roles as Head of Balance Sheet Management & Investments and Head of Structuring & Trading at Saudi British Bank (SABB). Issa holds a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of British Columbia. 

  • BNP PARIBAS WEALTH MANAGEMENT has appointed Michail Samawi as Managing Director & Market Leader for Saudi Arabia. Based in the DIFC, Samawi will lead a team of bankers that will cover the Kingdom. Prior to joining BNP, he was the Head of Private Banking at Credit Suisse Saudi Arabia for more than three years. With more than 16 years of experience in the wealth management industry, Samawi has held multiple board memberships, including in Jordan SME Private Equity Fund and HBTF Equity Mutual Fund. Previously, he also worked with Jordan-based Housing Bank for Trade and Finance as an Executive Manager – Head of Investments and Financial Advisory for over 12 years. Samawi holds a master’s degree in law and accounting from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is also a CFA, CAIA and PRM Charterholder.

  • GULF INTERNATIONAL BANK (GIB) announced the appointment of Nezar Al Saie to its Board of Directors. Mr. Al Saie brings more than four decades of experience in banking, finance, and asset management. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board at Gulf Union Holding, and is also an entrepreneur, most recently having founded several leading regional companies in the telecom and building materials sectors in Bahrain including Kalaam Telecom and Polycon Bahrain and is currently the Chairman of both companies. Previously, Mr. Al Saie spent 14 years at Investcorp where he was a member of the Management Committee and responsible for the placement of alternative assets including private equity, real estate, and hedge funds in the Gulf region. Prior to that, he was a Vice President at Chase Manhattan in Bahrain and London, where he worked across the global bank’s credit, corporate and private banking divisions. Mr. Al Saie served on the Board of several public and private financial institutions, and as senior advisor to Lazard Brothers, London and Itau Bank, Brazil.  

  • JULIUS BAER has hired Slim Bouker as Managing Director, Senior Advisor based in the UAE. He was the formerly the Head of Private Banking and Al Riyada at Doha Bank for more than 2.5 years.  In a career spanning over 27 years, Bouker has also served as a Board Member of Chestertons MENA in UAE, and before that as COO and Advisor to the Chairman of Qatar First Bank (QFB). Besides, he worked at Noor Islamic Bank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, Gulf Bank and JP Morgan Chase bank. Bouker obtained a BA, international business degree from The American University of Paris.

  • MASHREQ BANK has appointed Corey Thompson as the new Executive Vice President and Head of Digital for its retail banking group. Thompson will manage and execute Mashreq’s digital strategy including its personal banking, Mashreq Gold, private banking, SMEs, Islamic and Emirati segments.  He will also deliver a sharp focus on enriching Mashreq’s digital ecosystem, partnerships and next generation capabilities in both Mashreq’s Neo, Neo Biz segments and payment solutions – Neo Pay.  He joins from HSBC in Hong Kong where he was Head of Digital Product for over 2 years. Before this he was Head of Digital Strategy & Enablement Manulife in Singapore and Hong Kong. He has also held roles with Citi and E*TRADE in Australia. 

  • MIRABAUD GROUP formally announced the appointment of Samir Atitallah as Chief Executive Officer of Mirabaud Middle East. In addition, Nicolas Mirabaud, Managing Partner of Mirabaud SCA and Head of Wealth Management for the Group, now also assumes the role of Chairman of the Board of Mirabaud Middle East. Samir, based in Dubai, will report to Nicolas and further strengthen its international wealth proposition. Samir joined the Mirabaud Group in February 2022 and has gained extensive experience in private banking and within the luxury goods industry. Most recently, Samir was a member of the Executive Committee of Piaget and was previously the Chief of Staff to the CEO for more than three years in the Organisation & Strategy department at Pictet Group. Samir graduated from l’Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne.

  • NORTHERN TRUST has appointed Kholoud Al Dosari as Country Head for Saudi Arabia. Al Dosari will oversee the strategic development, business growth and operations of Northern Trust’s asset servicing business in the country.  Prior to joining Northern Trust, Al Dosari served as Independent Non-Executive Board Member to Northern Trust Saudi Arabia since 2019. She brings close to 20 years of experience and expertise in management consultancy, corporate governance and strategic private equity investments, having worked for prominent family offices, public and private organizations in Saudi Arabia. Most recently, Al Dosari served as Director at The Financial Academy, the education arm of the Saudi Central Bank and Capital Market Authority. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of CFA Society Saudi Arabia.

  • UNITED ARAB BANK (UAB) has appointed Shirish Bhide as Chief Executive Officer, effective 1st  June. Prior to joining, Bhide was the Group Head of Corporate, Commercial and International Banking at First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) and had previously served as the Chief Credit Officer and Acting Head of Wholesale Banking at First Gulf Bank (FGB). With over 30 years of banking experience, he commenced his career with Citibank in India where he worked in various roles across the consumer and corporate segments. He moved to Uganda in 2006 to serve as the CEO. In 2009, he joined Saudi-based National Commercial Bank as the Head of Risk Management. Bhide holds a postgraduate diploma in accounting and finance from the London School of Economics and an MBA in marketing from the University of Pune, India.

  • WIO BANK has appointed Jayesh Patel as the Chief Executive Officer. Wio is an integrated digital banking platform, jointly owned by Abu Dhabi Holding Company (ADQ), Alpha Dhabi, Etisalat, and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), with an initial capital of AED 2.3 billion.  Patel will be heading Wio’s strategic growth with his experience of building on-demand digital solutions and innovative products having previously led the creation of Liv., a digital-only lifestyle bank.  Additionally, the bank appointed H.E. Salem Al Nuaimi as Chairman of the Board. Al Nuaimi will bring a wealth of financial industry expertise to Wio through holding several leadership positions including serving as Board Member of ADQ and Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Pension Fund.

  • ZURICH INTERNATIONAL LIFE, part of Zurich Insurance Group has hired Mufazzal Kajiji as Chief Executive Officer for the Middle East, effective 1st June, replacing Reena Vivek, Zurich’s interim CEO. Kajiji has more than 20 years of multi-functional experience across local and international financial organisations in India and the Middle East. He has experience across bancassurance, wealth management, digital transformation, business and distribution strategy, risk management, marketing and Islamic banking. He was previously Mashreq Bank’s Head of Wealth Management and Mashreq Gold having joined in 2020 and prior to that, he was Head of Retail Banking at Noor Bank. He was also an EVP, Global Head of Wealth Management and Mortgages at First Gulf Bank (FGB) for more than 10 years.



APRIL 2022

  • ABU DHABI INVESTMENT COUNCIL (ADIC) announced that Eissa Al Suwaidi, Chief Executive Officer has decided to retire, effective June 2022. Mohamed Ali Al Dhaheri, currently Deputy CEO of the Council, will succeed as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Al Dhaheri has served for over two decades as a highly regarded investment executive, first at ADIA and then working with the founding members of the Council in 2007. As Deputy CEO of the Council, he has worked closely with Mr. Al Suwaidi as well as leading the Council’s Accounting and Financial Services Group. Al Suwaidi retires after 40 years of service to Abu Dhabi’s major financial institutions. He joined the ADIC at its creation in 2007 after serving as an executive at Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) for 25 years.

  • BANK OF AMERICA has appointed Yazaid Al-Salloom as Country Head for Saudi Arabia and will also cover Kuwait and Bahrain. He is replacing Motashar Al Murshed who joined a Saudi government body in recent months after nearly 12 years with BofA. Al-Salloom joins from Standard Chartered where he spent over 4 years latterly as MD and CEO for Saudi Arabia. He was previously Head of Financial Institutions Sales, MENAP & Turkey based in Dubai with SCB. Before this he spent over 7.5 years at HSBC in Dubai primarily in Debt Capital Markets and Fixed Income Institutional Sales. He started his career in investment banking at Deutsche Bank as an Analyst for 3 years. Yazaid holds a MBA and Business Administration & Finance degree from the University of San Diego, USA.

  • DECISIVE CAPITAL MANAGEMENT has appointed Faisal Iqbal as the Senior Executive Officer for its Middle East and South Asia business. Decisive is an independent ultra-high net worth financial advisor established in Geneva in 2016, the company has more than 90 professionals and over $6 billion of assets under supervision. Before joining Decisive, Iqbal held the position as Senior Director - Team Head, Private Banking at Emirates NBD. With more than 24 years of experience, he has also worked for Barclays, Citi, and Standard Chartered Bank. Iqbal holds a BA Honours Business Management from University of Lincoln, UK.   

  • EDMOND DE ROTHSCHILD GROUP has hired Saman Habibian as Market Leader for Middle East and Africa, while Manuel Sturm will be the Chief Operating Officer for the Middle East and Africa, both based in Zurich as it seeks to grow private banking activities in the Middle East. Saman was previously Head of the Middle East at Bank Pictet in Zurich for almost 3 years. Prior to this Saman worked for Julius Baer from 2010, notably as Head of GCC International, then successively as CEO Julius Baer Bahrain and Deputy Global Head for the Middle East and Africa. Manuel joins from Pictet Wealth Management where he was Chief of Staff for almost 3 years. He has also held roles with Julius Baer for 7 years and Clariden Leu for 12 years. 

  • EFG HERMES has hired Saud Altassan as Chief Executive Officer for Saudi Arabia. Altassan joins from Bank of America where he was Head of Investment Banking, KSA.  Altassan brings more than 15 years’ experience to the role, including leading successful international and local teams on both the buy and sell side. Prior to joining Bank of America, he was CEO of Swicorp KSA. Earlier in his career Altassan also held M&A roles at NCB Capital's Investment Banking joint venture with Goldman Sachs and at Banque Saudi Fransi in Project Finance and Syndication.

  • FAB CAPITAL has hired Mshari Alassaf as the Chief Executive Officer for Saudi Arabia. Mshari joins from Riyad Bank where he was SVP & Head of Corporate Finance for 1.5 years. Previously he spent 2.5 years at National Center for Privatization & PPP as Director General, Privatization & PPP Advisory. He was with Standard Chartered Bank in KSA for over 3 years as Director, Head of Clients Relationships and before this as Head of Corporate Finance. He has also held roles with Banque Saudi Fransi and Samba Capital earlier in his career. 

  • FIRST ABU DHABI BANK (FAB) has appointed Rainer Kasch as Managing Director and Head of Saudi Arabia Securities Services. Based in Riyadh, Kasch will be responsible for managing FAB Capital’s Saudi Direct Custody business and developing the securities services franchise with Saudi-based institutions. He will also focus on the bank’s intermediary clients, providing access to the Saudi post-trade securities market through FAB’s direct membership of the Securities Depository Center (Edaa). Kasch will oversee FAB’s local client relationships in Saudi Arabia and continue to develop solutions to support the increasing complexity of the institutional investors who invest in the Kingdom and globally. Previously, he was the MD and the Global Head of Network Management at Standard Chartered in Singapore, where he was responsible for custodian, cash, and correspondent relationships with the bank’s 55 affiliates. Prior to that, he was working with Deutsche Bank in Singapore.

  • GFH FINANCIAL GROUP has appointed Ghazi Al Hajeri as its Chairman. Mr Al Hajeri will replace Jassim Al Seddiqi who resigned as Chairman of GFH to focus on other business commitments. The company’s board also appointed Edris Al Rafi as its new Vice Chairman. Mr Al Hajeri has more than 21 years of experience in the investment industry and is currently the Chief Executive of Wafra International Investment Company, a Kuwait-based asset management company with total assets worth $7bn. Before that, he was the Deputy Chief Executive at Touristic Enterprises, an entity owned by the Kuwait Investment Authority.

  • HSBC ASSET MANAGEMENT has appointed Dan Rudd to the newly created position of Head of Wholesale for Northern Europe and the Middle East. Dan will now take responsibility for all wholesale client coverage and strategy across the UK, Ireland, Germany, Nordics, Switzerland and the Middle East. Rudd has over 28 years of industry experience and joined HSBC in 2005 where he has worked in a number of senior roles, most recently as Head of External Wholesale for the UK, Ireland and the Middle East. He will continue to be based in London and report to Thorsten Michalik, Global Head of Wholesale and Partnerships.

  • INVESTCORP in Saudi Arabia has appointed Mashaal Aljomaih as Deputy Chief Executive Officer. He joins from BNP Paribas in Saudi Arabia where he spent almost 4 years as Managing Director and Head of Wealth Management for KSA. Prior to this he was a Founding Partner of Darin Partners a privately owned real estate advisory company based in the UK. Before this he spent over 5.5 years at JPMorgan Private bank in Saudi Arabia and London as an Executive Director focusing on serving GCC UHNWI’s. He was previously a Director Investment Placement & Distribution Director Investment Placement & Distribution at Arcapita for over 8 years. 

  • NUVEEN, the asset management arm of investment firm TIAA,  has hired Wael Bayazid as a Consultant - Middle East to help expand its institutional business in the region. Prior to joining Nuveen, Bayazid worked at The Carlyle Group, where he was a Managing Director and Partner. Based in Washington DC and London, he was instrumental in developing the Carlyle Group’s brand in the Middle East and Europe. He will consult Nuveen’s global client services team as they expand Nuveen’s footprint in the region, developing strategies to service both existing and new clients, including the establishment of a long-term presence in the Middle East. Bayazid has over 25 years of experience in client servicing, business development, and fundraising. He holds a BSc. Degree in International Business Administration from The American College of Switzerland.

  • SICO in Bahrain, announced the appointments of Owen Vallis as Chief Risk Officer and Nimita Nazer as Head of Middle Office. Both of these are newly created positions in SICO’s management team aimed at expanding and enhancing both functions within the Bank, noting that Middle Office is a recently established department to support the Bank’s  Asset Management activities. Owen Vallis has 18 years of experience in risk management. Prior to joining SICO, he was the UK Head of Asset Management Risk at Credit Suisse Group in London for 10 years. He additionally held the position of Vice President at JP Morgan for two years. Mr Vallis also previously worked at Morgan Stanley and Kleinwort Benson as a Risk Analyst. He holds a BSc. in Disaster Risk Management from the University of Portsmouth, UK. Nimita joined SICO in 2018 as a Portfolio Administrator and previously spent over 6 years with HSBC in Bahrain. 

  • THARWAT, the Riyadh-based investment firm for Financial Securities has appointed Abdullah Bashammakh as its Chief Executive. He has more than 21 years of expertise in private banking, having worked for both global and regional financial organisations. Previously, he worked as the Head of Private Banking at Riyad Bank for more than two years. Prior to that, Bashammakh worked at First Abu Dhabi Bank, Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.




Contact RRA consultant | Kanu Rajguru

Kanu Rajguru
Kanu Rajguru oversees Banking & Financial Services for Middle East & Africa and is a member of the global financial services practice. He has over 25 years executive search and recruitment experience and has completed searches in over 35 countries including for the past 15+ years across the Middle East & Africa.
Mobile: +971 50 845 2830


Burak Gorbon
Based in our Dubai office, Burak Gorbon is a member of the Middle East leadership team and also heads the firm’s Turkey operations. He advises regional and global clients on their leadership teams and boards. Burak’s focus is on recruiting CEOs, other C-level executives and non-executive directors. He is a trusted advisor to a wide range of  Banks, and other  financial institutions.
Mobile: +971 52 646 5256


Nic Cutts
Nic Cutts is a senior member of the firm’s global Leadership & Succession Practice and Head of Financial Services Advisory Services for Russell Reynolds EMEA. He is a (UK) Chartered Psychologist with over 20 years international consulting experience, having assessed and coached many C-level executives. He has led several large scale M&A and transformation initiatives in the financial services sector, where his consulting services have focused on individual, team and organization-wide initiatives.
Mobile: +971 55 560 9820